Thursday, December 06, 2012

Retelling of the Daughter of Jepthah @ the UN Church Center (video)

As part of my internship at the Lutheran Office for World Community at the United Nations, I'm priveleged to work in a diverse ecumenical environment on variety of important issues.  One of the issues I spend the most time on is gender equality, predominately through supporting the communications work of an organization called Ecumenical Women (EW).  As stated on their website, the work of EW is to:
As a coalition, we seek to give those traditionally excluded from political decision making bodies, opportunities to speak truth to power through partnerships with our communities and through bringing women from around the world to the United Nations. Our Ecumenical Women coalition advocates for gender justice at the United Nations, incorporating annual advocacy trainings for our constituencies and delegations, network building and policy recommendations which challenge structures of inequality. Members of Ecumenical Women advocate not only for a few improvements but for a fundamental system change in church and state to invest in and empower women worldwide.
EW primarily does this work through bringing delegates to the United Nations for formation and advocacy efforts during the annual Commision on the Status of Women (CSW).

During an expert consultation to prepare for this year's CSW, a member of the EW team, Rev. Kathleen Stone, wrote and directed a retelling of the Daughter of Jepthah story from Judges 10 - 11 that was performed in the Chapel of the Church Center for the United Nations on October 25th, 2012.  As a judge of Israel, Jepthah vows to make a sacrifice to God if he is victorious in battle against the Ammonites.  While the Ammonites are indeed defeated, Jepthah ends up sacrificing his daughter.  As the priority theme of this year's CSW57 is "elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls," this retelling of the Daughter of Jepthah story is meant to both give voice to those women and girls who have been victims of violence across the globe and to explore how the Scriptures and traditional definitions of faithfulness can be properly questioned.

You can check out a taping of the performance below:

Be sure to learn about Ecumenical Women and the Commision on the Status of Women more thoroughly, and I'd love to hear what you think about the performance.

God's peace,

Dustin is currently a vicar at the Lutheran Office for World Community and Saint Peter's Church in Manhattan, having recently completed his second year of a Masters of Divinity program at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. While seeking ordination in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, his focus is on the intersection between worship, service and justice building in de-centralized faith communities unencumbered by a traditional church building. In his free time, Dustin really likes playing frisbee, hiking and pretending to know how to sing.

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